In school we're taught to learn both sides of a story before compiling our data, and that conjecture is the curse of the C+ student. Well, rigour was obviously not a mandate in this issue, as both articles (CBC and the Gauntlet) were published without the input of the Whisk
ey or Toqueboy Studios.
It's my contention that the people bringing forth the negative comments about the advert have made huge leaps when saying that the Whisk
ey promotes date rape. It is obviously in the best interest of the Whisk
ey to be on good standing with students, and the Whisk
ey has tried to establish a good rapport with students by offering free limo rides, a chocolate buffet and live entertainment on the night in question.
Regardless of how a person interprets the saying on the button, staff from the Whisk
ey or from my studio should have been contacted to help shed some light on the situation before the media was allowed to make a mockery of this situation.
Toqueboy Studios has been doing the design and marketing work for the Whisk
ey since it's inception in 2001. Our work has been very female-friendly and unlike other 'superclubs' we've used marketing techniques that don't rely on sex. An honest assessment of the situation is that we've probably under-sexualized the Whisk
ey to their detriment in order to forward our belief that sex isn't required to sell products.
In the past, Toqueboy Studios and the Whisk
ey have been complemented by CJSW, the TSE and ASA, as well as the Nursing Association for creating material that emphasizes humour as opposed to sex in order to promote highly successful parties such as The Frosh Slosh, The Student Nurses Cabaret, and BSD Blowout 1 and 2, not to mention the CJSW Tower Launch Party.
We do work for 11 different bar/lounge/restaurants in town, and you'll find that across the board these bars have absolutely no sexual agenda and, to a fault, allow my studio to create more conscious and design oriented work than many/most of their competitors.
In the last year Toqueboy Studios has provided significant charitable contributions to FairyTales International Film Festival & Calgary Pride Group, and I've personally provided monetary donations in kind to Herland Film Festival. At Toqueboy Studios we feel strongly about impacting society in a positive fashion and our charitable and corporate work speaks to these convictions.
There have been no media stories on how Toqueboy Studios has provided free branding, print, and web campaigns for charitable groups that represent many of the same interests as Emily Elder, but, sure enough, the media will exaggerate the connotation of a button on a lapel.
As a recent graduate from U of C's Faculty of Graduate Studies with a Master's Degree, I find it offensive that both students and reporters failed in their rigor when presenting this issue. This, more than sex in advertising (which is a cliched story already), is a larger issue for our society. I believe that the furor over this ad displays a naive assessment of the situation and that it illustrates how defunct news media and many academics have become in creating content of import or credibility.